Monday, Fourth Week of Lent

Monday, March 23

Monday, Fourth Week of Lent


Liturgical readings are available here.

When Isaiah talks about new heavens and a new earth that will be created, he not only connects with the creation story from Genesis. In fact, the old creation is nothing in comparison with what God is about to accomplish. God provides an answer to the needs of the people. It was a situation of misery in the time of Isaiah, when people were experiencing poverty, economic depression, and lack of leadership. However, the words of Isaiah – although full of hope – somehow failed to materialize, at least in the material sense and the Jewish nation continued experiencing their ups and downs for many centuries.

This must have been a true challenge of faith: it is easy to be a believer if material prosperity comes along. It is much harder to trust, when nothing happens and things simply do not go our way.

Jesus also criticizes people for their lack of faith: Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will not believe. The issue is not their participation (or lack of it) in cult, but their materialistic expectations of tangible and favorable results. Only one person in the gospel passes the test. It is the royal official (and thus a pagan) who believes without seeing miracles. He leaves Jesus after hearing; You may go; your son will live. And the evangelist comments: The man believed what Jesus said to him and left.

Trusting and believing without obtaining the desired results is the true challenge. It is in the moments of crisis that people are tested and characters revealed.